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It is amazing to think we have reached the last week of the academic year. This year has moved ahead swiftly with each day bringing some important and historic milestones.

We hosted the WREB examinations over the weekend and are now hosting the ADEX exam. Yesterday was our last day of full services in the Main Clinic. Today, Faculty Development Day activities are taking place online. Wednesday is the day that graduating students will be officially certified for graduation, and we will welcome our incoming students at a “Meet the Family” session in the evening. Exams will take place the rest of the week for our continuing students. The circle of academic life continues.  We also look forward to the virtual awards program on Friday evening for the graduating Class of 2021 and our in-person commencement ceremony on Sunday. What a memorable week!

I would like to take this moment to express my deep appreciation to all of you as members of the Dugoni School family. You have worked so hard during some very unusual circumstances during this academic year. Thank you for all that you have done — and will continue to do — to collaborate, succeed, and thrive in the face of any challenge or obstacle.

This certainly was a remarkable year. Our Dugoni School family has been inspiring in achieving so many incredible milestones this year. I am grateful for your compassion, care, and commitment to excellence in all that we do. You helped us stay true to our values and achieve our purpose of helping people lead healthy lives. You helped the Dugoni School emerge through this year as a premier dental education program anywhere in this country or world.

I hope that you take time to reflect, appreciate your many achievements, and allow yourself some downtime to rest.

Dear Dugoni School Family,

Congratulations to several of our students for their contributions to the April Contour magazine from the American Student Dental Association.

Pedrom Mashaw wrote a profile of alumnus Dr. Bill Dorfman (page 6); Anthoula Vlachos penned a story about sports dentistry (page 24), and Sharynne Isys Alfonso and Patrick Gomez shared their thoughts in the “Probing Question” section (page 48).

Thanks to these students, and others throughout the year, who took the time to share their voices with fellow students and colleagues from across the country.

Building your transparency and communication skills is critically important as a leader. When we communicate in an honest and clear manner, we alleviate fears and provide hope. Frequent and honest communication is reassuring, and I applaud our students for building your networks and for your communication.

Dear Dugoni School Family,

Happy Friday morning. I hope you enjoyed our first full week of April as our Spring quarter moves into full swing. I want to congratulate our Dental Hygiene students and their faculty mentors on the research presentations completed this week.  I was able to attend a few of the virtual presentations on Wednesday and was impressed by the preparation and professionalism of our Dental Hygiene students.  Keep up the great work.

Congratulations to our student Pedrom Mashaw DDS ‘22, who recently created and launched the “Dental Giants” podcast to help inspire dental students and young dental professionals. I had the honor of being interviewed and sharing some of my background and thoughts about the dental profession. Thank you Pedrom for your passion for this podcast project and your leadership and initiative.

Listen to the podcast episodes on Apple Podcasts or Anchor FM.

Thank you to our volunteers who helped with our pop-up vaccine clinic last night and those helping at the vaccine clinic tomorrow for people with disabilities. Thank you also to our students, staff, and faculty who are volunteering for the virtual Dugoni Discovery Day tomorrow. We are very thankful for your willingness to help make these events a success.

I will end our message for today with a reflection on the importance of our thoughts on successful outcomes.

“Whether you think you can or think you cannot, either way you are right.”

Do you know of someone who would make a great member of the Dugoni School family as a student? We recently opened registration for our virtual “Dugoni Discovery Day” annual admissions open house. The event will take place online on Saturday, April 10. Learn more and RSVP. 

Thank you to our volunteers who are helping at tomorrow’s COVID-19 vaccine clinic on campus. This is a second dose clinic for members of the public and some of our internal students and employees who are part of our healthcare programs. We are expecting more than 530 people on campus for this clinic.

In case you missed it in the Positively Pacific newsletter, you can read the article about the vaccination volunteer efforts in San Francisco and Stockton

Please have a great Friday and weekend. We are entering the home stretch of this quarter and I know how hard you all have worked in your studies, patient care, school projects, and support for one other. We are also in the home stretch of marking one year from the time of the initial shelter in place orders. It is amazing to reflect on how we have been through and how much we have grown.

“If we’re growing, we’re always going to be out of our comfort zone.” –John Maxwell